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Q&A with Pat McCoy – Director of Technical Services at Fujikura Composites

Written by Stephanie Hartgraves on July 28, 2014

We don’t get to see Pat here at the office much since he is always traveling around the world fitting professional golfers with Fujikura on Tour, but that being said, he has earned a very respected reputation in the industry as a club fitter. I didn’t ask Pat to go on record with a job description because he would have probably been way too modest, but put bluntly, he is the guy responsible for studying every swing type on the Tour week after week and helping the pros find that perfect shaft that is going to give them that competitive advantage to be the best golfer in the world and WIN.

It is not a coincidence that Fujikura is consistently the most played shaft, the longest driving shaft and the shaft in nearly every winning bag on Tour. And if you didn’t already know, Fujikura is among the very few companies in all of professional sports that is played 100% of the time because of the player’s personal choice. We are proud to be able to say…”It’s By Choice, Not by Check” because we take all that sponsorship money and put it right into making the best performance golf shafts. Fujikura does not pay anyone to use golf equipment EVER.  So……as you can see, Pat has a pretty important job :)

Not everyone is a Tour player, but everyone has a unique swing and that is what is most important about Pat’s job and each and every Fujikura shaft. We have studied swings of all types of players with all types of handicaps for decades and have perfected the equation to optimizing any golfer’s results. Fujikura has created the Fujikura Charter Dealer Network around the world because it is our mission to give every golfer the ability to play their best golf. At a Charter Dealer you can get custom fit just like the pros. And don’t think for a second that you aren’t a good enough golfer to be fitted, because that is the biggest misconception of custom fitting. In fact, the higher your handicap, the more distance, accuracy and control you have to gain. We may be able to get that Tour player and extra couple yards, but 99.9% of golfers that are fit with Fujikura shafts gain an average of 13 yards.

Today’s Q&A is pretty short but Pat is passionate about sharing his love for the game and helping golfers optimize their equipment. We will try and feature a Q&A with Pat at least once a month on our blog to share his thoughts on key subjects related to shaft fitting.

Q: How important is torque? Is lower torque only for the better player?

A: “The thought that low torque is better in general is a misconception across all levels of players and even on PGA Tour. We have players using our shafts in drivers on the PGA Tour using 4.5 degrees of torque and I can confirm that multiple players have won tour events using a shaft with over four degrees in their driver. Torque is more relative to a players feel but can also close or open the face at impact dependent upon how it is delivered.
There is no standard measurement for torque in the golf industry and it’s totally dependent to the amount of span you are measuring.”

Q:Do you use robots in testing of your shafts?
A:  “We have a robot at our facility in Japan that has two levers and can mimic specific golf swings like a cast or late release and it is used testing prototype shafts. I feel the best testing we have is play testing with the target audience we are trying to fit. The comments from the group of golfers help us with the design and launch monitor data is provided with the players comments in regards to feel and playability.”

Q:Where do you see in the future of shafts and fitting?
A:  “Fujikura does a tremendous amount of testing and development with all golfers (all handicaps, ages, and speeds) in our Fit On Studio using our proprietary ENSO fitting system and every swing has a unique fingerprint. Now I am not saying any of these swings are the perfect swing but it’s that individuals swing that’s unique. We are collecting a ton of data on why shafts are working with specific swings, speeds, deliveries, and in the future I believe you will be able to make a couple of swings with a test golf club and a Fujikura shaft will be recommended that will help you improve your impact location and kick speed of the shaft at the correct length for you.”

“In regards to your question about the future of shafts it goes hand in hand with fitting but the material vendors we work with are always competing to get our business with the best carbon fiber and resin systems, this allows us more freedom with our designs in regards to weight, flex, and balance of our shafts.”

Q: What do you like most about your job?
A:  “Having a player who was fit by one of our Charter dealers or myself tell me how great our products are. Golf is hard enough on it’s own….. get yourself fit by one of our Charter Dealers and have more fun playing proper equipment.”